Birmingham City manager Alex McLeish has said it is up to key midfielder Barry Ferguson to decide whether or not to undergo an injection which could allow him to return to action quicker after suffering a broken rib.
Ferguson sustained the injury in a clash with Arsenal's Samir Nasri during the Carling Cup final. In his absence Birmingham slumped to a 3-1 home defeat against West Bromwich Albion on Saturday, a result which saw City fall back into the Premier League relegation zone.
But McLeish will put no pressure on Ferguson and allow him to make his mind up on whether to go under the needle. McLeish said: "Barry has had this before when I was at Rangers in a Scottish Cup final.
"Perhaps it was easier then, but there can be things done to alleviate it, in terms of an injection. Barry, the doctor and I were discussing it on Saturday because he hates missing matches.
"Of course, he is a key component in our games just like Cesc Fabregas is a talisman to Arsenal and Wayne Rooney for Manchester United. We all have key players. But I'm not going to force the player into doing it. His welfare comes first and it must come from him if he makes the decision to have the jab."